History Book Reviews

GIVE US THE BALLOT by Ari Berman
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Not just a compelling history, but a cry for help in the recurring struggle to gain what is supposed to be an inalienable right."
An incisive look at the many issues surrounding the right to vote. Read full book review >
UNDER ANOTHER SKY by Charlotte Higgins
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"A thoroughly researched, elegantly written history."
Inquiring into the deep sources of British identity. Read full book review >

NAGASAKI by Susan Southard
HISTORY
Released: July 28, 2015

"A valiant, moving work of research certain to provoke vigorous discussion."
Intense, deeply detailed, and compassionate account of the atomic bomb's effects on the people and city of Nagasaki, then and now. Read full book review >
PALIMPSEST by Matthew Battles
HISTORY
Released: July 21, 2015

"A fascinating exploration stylishly and gracefully told."
An illuminating look at the origins and impact of writing. Read full book review >
SPAIN by Robert Goodwin
HISTORY
Released: July 21, 2015

"Any student of the Renaissance should read this excellent work showing Spain's enormous impact on the arts and, with her vast American empire, the world."
A bright, wide-ranging chronicle of the golden age of the Spanish empire. Read full book review >

OUR MAN IN CHARLESTON by Christopher Dickey
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 21, 2015

"A great book explaining the workings of what Dickey calls an erratic, cobbled-together coalition of ferociously independent states. It should be in the library of any student of diplomacy, as well as Civil War buffs."
In this biography of Robert Bunch, the British consul in Charleston, South Carolina, at the beginning of the Civil War, Daily Beast foreign editor Dickey (Securing the City: Inside America's Best Counterterror Force—The NYPD, 2010, etc.) illustrates how an outside observer can understand more about a situation than the parties involved.Read full book review >
ONE MAN AGAINST THE WORLD by Tim Weiner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 21, 2015

"That project continues, of course, in different hands all these years after Nixon's coverup of a coverup. No one who reads this incisive book will be nostalgic for Nixon, no matter how disastrous his successors."
Sobering, eye-opening study of Richard Nixon's booze-soaked, paranoid White House years and the endless tragedies they wrought. Read full book review >
THE REBEL OF RANGOON by Delphine Schrank
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 14, 2015

"A remarkable chronicle of a multigenerational struggle in Burma bringing about important change."
A dogged journalist penetrates the deeply secretive dissident underground in Burma's police state in this compelling look into a traumatized society in flux. Read full book review >
GENGHIS KHAN by Frank McLynn
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 14, 2015

"Thoroughly researched, grim, grisly, and sometimes even grudgingly admiring."
A prolific historian, biographer, and journalist returns with a sanguinary and thorough account of "the greatest conqueror the world has ever known." Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: July 14, 2015

"A comprehensive, intelligent look at the evolving world of spies."
Investigative journalist Grey (Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program, 2006) has his finger on the pulse of all things espionage. While explaining the changes in the spying world since the end of the Cold War, he delves deeply into the strengths and weaknesses of the industry and discloses previously unknown events.Read full book review >
BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 8, 2015

"This moving, potent testament might have been titled 'Black Lives Matter.' Or: 'An American Tragedy.'"
The powerful story of a father's past and a son's future. Read full book review >
LIFE’S GREATEST SECRET by Matthew Cobb
HISTORY
Released: July 7, 2015

"The greatest milestone in 20th-century biology received an iconic account in Horace Freeland Judson's The Eighth Day of Creation (1979). Much has happened since that publication, and Cobb's gripping, insightful history, often from the mouths of the participants themselves, updates the story, bringing it all the way into the present."
Animal breeders have always known that "like breeds like," but no one, Charles Darwin included, knew why offspring resemble parents except, sometimes, when they don't. Cobb (Zoology/Univ. of Manchester; Eleven Days in August: The Liberation of Paris 1944, 2014, etc.) describes how they learned.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >